Quality control in surface metrology through software integration


Digital Surf and Bruker, a world leader in advanced surface metrology, have designed a fully integrated mountain-based analysis solution® platform, facilitating unparalleled throughput for quality control in precision manufacturing. This followed an initial partnership deal announced in 2016.

Author of the article: Samuel Lesko, Director of Technology and Applications at Bruker. Image Credit: Bruker

Challenges associated with advanced manufacturing

Over the past decade, as production and manufacturing industries have evolved rapidly, they have faced considerable challenges both in finding resources to run production, but also in manufacturing to tighter tolerances for surface texture and dimensions of 3D elements.

Due to the tight tolerances required in advanced manufacturing, there is a need for highly repeatable metrology systems as part of the manufacturing line. Often a robot is deployed to swap parts between the production tool and the metrology equipment, creating a fully automated process that eliminates some of the variability of human operators.

Through the same automation path, the results of a metrology tool are transmitted to a central server which tracks all trends or anomalies (Statistical Process Control, SPC). This development is commonly known as Industry 4.0, where manufacturing is highly automated and integrated directly with surface metrology.

Features for quality control

The advanced precision mechanics industry produces many parts for different sectors, including medical (orthopedic hip shell, knee joint, etc.) and automotive (injector, cylinder, etc.)

In each of these applications, surface texture and roughness, local flatness and topographic defects or deviation of three-dimensional (3D) characteristics play a critical role in meeting the efficiency/functionality of moving mechanical parts and compliance requirements. certification of medical devices.

Surface metrology tools used in Industry 4.0 applications must not only be able to measure, but also automatically generate and save reports with dynamic naming, save results in a combined database with lot ID and/or part number and apply advanced 3D. processing the datasets to obtain the appropriate parameters required.

Integration of measurement automation and software analysis

To meet these requirements, Bruker and Digital Surf have partnered to provide full measurement software integration by acquiring data from a White Light Interferometry (WLI) optical profiler with Mountains® analysis software.

Inputs from the robot, such as part serial number or measurement conditions (objective, measurement mode, etc.), are passed to Bruker’s Vision64 measurement software, and results such as diameter variation or the classification of defects are acquired by direct communication with Vision64 Map Analysis Software (see diagram below).

Quality control in surface metrology through software integration

Image Credit: Digital Surf

The measurement software communicates effortlessly with Digital Surf’s sophisticated surface and contour solutions in both directions. Thanks to this two-way data exchange, the measurement software can automatically save and/or print a report for each part measured. It also has the ability to report results to an SPC server via a Comma Separated Variables (CSV) file.

Bruker’s WLI Optical Profiler advances high throughput requirements with fast measurement of large surface topography combining sub-nanometer vertical and sub-micron lateral resolutions.

Combined with Vision64 Map’s sophisticated particle analysis, defect classification and contouring capabilities, it delivers an exceptionally powerful analysis solution, successfully meeting the demands of metrology automation.

Automotive Injector Inspection

The analysis of an automotive injector is an example of this fully integrated process. This application requires precise control of several equally crucial aspects for the quality of the part, based on a single measurement.

Automotive injector inspection report with upper surface scratch and pitting defect analysis

Automotive injector inspection report with top surface scratch and pitting defect analysis. Image Credit: Digital Surf

Diameter size and roundness with quantification of deviations are assessed automatically using state-of-the-art contour tools while flatness and vertical defect screening is performed via the parameter table and analysis functionalities. particles.

The establishment of the most prevalent surface defects is further determined via the classification tool, thereby drawing attention to scratches, which may be responsible for leak paths.

Finally, the relative offset between the top and bottom diameter is calculated automatically using the advanced contour tool.

Deviation from the desired diameter

Deviation from the desired diameter. Image Credit: Digital Surf


Full integration of Bruker’s WLI optical profiler acquisition system and mountains® Software analyzes facilitates quality control in demanding advanced manufacturing processes.

The success of this solution is due to a new combination of robust and flexible analysis toolkits, such as particle analysis and advanced contours, as well as excellent metrological performance. Combined, these components offer a sustainable and dynamic solution to the challenges encountered in Industry 4.0.

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This information has been extracted, revised and adapted from materials provided by Digital Surf.

For more information on this source, please visit digital surfing.


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